Interior minister proposes Egert Belitšev for next PPA chief

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Egert Belitšev.
Egert Belitšev. Source: Siim Lõvi/ERR

Minister of the Interior Lauri Läänemets (SDE) has proposed Egert Belitšev as the new potential candidate for the next director general of the Police and Border Guard Board (PPA).

This was confirmed to ERR on Friday morning by Vootele Päi, adviser to the minister of the interior.

Läänemets told online portal Delfi (link in Estonian) that current as well as future circumstances spoke in favor of Belitšev's selection as candidate.

"Why Belitšev is good as director — he has significant international experience in this field," Läänemets highlighted. "And if we look at which crises pose the biggest challenges, they're the ones related to migration and the border — that is his strong suit. Looking ahead, international cooperation will very likely be required in this field. His management experience is naturally important as well."

Läänemets' choice is also supported by the fact that the government's coalition partners are satisfied with the pick. No obstacles are anticipated to Belitšev's appointment as the PPA's new director general.

Speaking to ERR, Läänemets nonetheless described the entire process of choosing a candidate for new PPA chief as regrettable.

"All of this could have been avoided if we could have calmly sat down and discussed this together," he said. "But because God knows who leaked these names to the media before we had been able to reach a final agreement, the process ended up going a little differently than it should have. I'm not happy with this. The communication of all parties involved in this process clearly would have been different if we had been able to do this the way it was supposed to be done."

The interior minister had initially proposed Veiko Kommusaar, the Interior Ministry's current undersecretary for internal security, as his candidate for the next director general of the PPA, but was met with opposition from both the Government Office and the coalition partner Reform Party.

The Government Office's Civil Service Committee for Selection of Top Managers had recommended choosing between Egert Belitšev, Krista Aas and Kuno Tammearu for the new PPA chief. Prime Minister Kaja Kallas (Reform) thereafter publicly stated that of these three, she would specifically prefer to see Aas chosen for the role.

Läänemets opting for Belitšev to replace Kommusaar as his pick for new PPA chief was thus likewise somewhat of a retort to Kallas as well, as he retracted his support of Kommusaar and did choose from the trio of names offered by the Government Office's selection committee, but nonetheless didn't go for Aas, whom Kallas had personally endorsed.

Police Lt. Col. Egert Belitšev is currently serving as the PPA's deputy director general for border management.


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Editor: Aili Vahtla

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